PLANS for a new housing estate on the site of an historic mental hospital could be changed to accomadate more homes.

Bellway Homes has revealed they want to create 75, rather than 40, homes on the 161-year-old Warley Hospital site in Mascalls Lane, Warley.

The developers were granted permission two years ago by Brentwood Council to build 40 properties, with a mix of apartments and large five and six-bedroom homes.

However, the firm is now seeking to increase this to 75 homes ranging from flats to three, four and five bedroom houses.

Company bosses said changes in the property market were behind their decision.

Planning and development manager Steve Read said: “The state of the general economy and current market would have meant to sell 26 large homes would have taken some time.

“But by changing it to more dwellings of a slightly smaller size, we believe it will turnover sales quicker.

“This is an important scheme for us in a fantastic location, which is why we wanted to stick with it rather than pull out altogether.”

In another difference to their original proposals, some of the homes will now be split level to help match some of slopes at the site.

Mr Read said the new designs look better than the previous plans and the company are looking forward to building there.

He said: “The biggest thing for us is the excitement of developing a site which has so much interest in it and the homes in this will look interesting rather than the standard box shaped houses we had before.”

The council’s planning committee are due to make a decision on the new plans on March 4.

In 2001 the main hospital closed although some services remained under the name of Mascalls Park Hospital before they were transferred to Goodmayes Hospital in Ilford in 2011.